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A simple visual colorimetric method based on arsenomolybdic acid-crystal violet ion-associate pair formation is described for the detection of As in groundwater at about 10, 25 and 50 μg L-1 levels. The pair exhibits light green coloration at ≤5 μg L-1 and blue colorations of distinctly different intensities at about 10, 25 and 50 μg L-1 concentrations of arsenic. High sensitivity is achieved by the preconcentration of As that entails simultaneous sorption of both As(III) and As(V) from groundwater on covellite (CuS) and, later, their elution as As(V), which subsequently participates in the formation of arsenomolybdic acid. The interference in the color development from PO43-ions that are as efficiently sorbed on CuS and eluted as the oxyanions of As is eliminated by their selective removal by Ce4+ ions under basic (pH ∼ 8.5) conditions. The removal is caused by the formation of cerium phosphate and its co-precipitation with calcium hydroxide. SiO42- ions do not interfere in the process as they are not sorbed by CuS. Groundwater containing ≤0.5 mg L-1 P and ≥200 mg L-1 total dissolved solid can be conveniently analysed by the method. The direct sensing of As(III) as well as As(V), the use of benign and easily available chemicals, the absence of any hazardous by-product, undiminished applicability in sunlight, the testing procedure lasting only for about 30 min, and rapidity are the major advantages of the method. Thus, the method is potentially well-suited for the on-site testing of groundwater potability under different regulations.


M V Balarama Krishna, S Thangavel, Y Sunitha, Sanjiv Kumar. A blue arsenomolybdic acid-crystal violet ion-associate pair paving the way for the field detection of arsenic in groundwater. Analytical methods : advancing methods and applications. 2022 Sep 22;14(36):3539-3551

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PMID: 36018243

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